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GRA Clears Products Without Tax Stamps From Retail Outlets   
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Officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) stormed some retail outlets in Accra to remove all products that do not have the tax stamp from the shelves.

The operation is part of the enforcement process for the excise tax stamp policy which begun implementation last month.

The officials visited Melcom North Industrial branch, Shoprite at the West Hills Mall, Max mart shopping centre and also GIHOC Distilleries in Accra.

According to the Head of Education and Public Affairs at the GRA, Bobbie Ansah, today's exercise is to ensure that only products with the tax stamp are found in the market.  He reveals that this is the first stage of the exercise which will follow with a seizure of all products not having the tax stamp on the next visit.

He said this is the first stage of the exercise and that the next stage would be to seize all products that do not have the tax stamp.

Some of the products taken off include Campari, Ab wine, Rampur, Jack Daniels and others from the Coca-Cola bottling company.

At GIHOC, the Managing Director, Maxwell Kofi Jumah supported the idea and took the team to the company’s packaging plant to inspect the newly installed affixing machine.

He later explains in an interview with JoyBusiness that the move is a good one.

He also challenged the team to prosecute any manufacturing company that fails to comply with the tax stamp policy.

Mr Kofi Jumah promised to ensure that the affected products have the stamp before the next visit by the operation team of the Ghana Revenue Authority.

Threats to shut down

Food and Beverage Association of Ghana (FBAG) earlier threaten to withdraw all locally manufactured products from the market if the government goes ahead with the implementation of the Tax Stamp Policy on March 1st.

Local manufacturers in Ghana said they were worried the implementation of the Tax Stamp Policy has the potential of collapsing local manufacturing companies.

Executive Secretary of FBAG, Samuel Aggrey, said all attempts to draw the attention of the government on their concerns have proved futile, hence the need to take drastic steps to drive home their concerns.

"Active players who are going to be heavily impacted by the project had oftentimes pointed out difficulties inherent in it if the mode is allowed to roll-out the way it is to be done as stated by project implementers," he stated in a media engagement.


The Excise Tax Stamp Act, 2013 (ACT 873) was passed by Parliament in December 2013 with the aim of helping the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) enforce the affixing of Excise Tax Stamp on specific excisable goods before they are delivered ex-factory, cleared from any port or presented for sale at any commercial level in Ghana.

The ACT subsequently received presidential assent in January 2014. 

The Excise Tax Stamp Act is definitely not an introduction of a new tax. It rather requires that Excise Tax Stamps with traceable and security-enhanced features on specified excisable commodities in order to serve as preliminary evidence of the payment of the required duties and taxes and to provide an audit trail for tracing importers and manufacturers of counterfeited goods. 

Excisable Products expected to be affixed with the stamps include Cigarette and other Tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic and carbonated beverages, bottled water, textiles and other goods determined by the minister of finance.
Source: Joy News

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